Thursday 26 March 2020

CAMBODIA: Abandoned Battambang Airport To Open Soon

Work on reopening the abandoned airport in Battambang province has started. Officials said it follows a call made by the government to open wider the gateway to the province, well-known for its agriculture.

Officials from the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), the country’s body in charge of aviation and local relevant officials in Battambang province, have started discussing details and have visited the airport, said SSCA’s spokesman Chea Aun.

“Work progress is under way and we want to make a specific development plan,” Aun said.

Premier Hun Sen last week announced his intention to reopen the airport, which he said would particularly help tourism. The PM asked local authorities to restrict building any high buildings near to the abandoned airport that may affect more development in the future.

However, Aun did not mention whether or not the operation of the airport will be granted to private companies to manage as is the case with the three international airports currently under the management of Cambodia Airports, a subsidiary of France-based Vinci Airports.

Battambang Airport once had the Kingdom’s busiest runways when it opened in 1968 but its fortunes took a downward turn in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge came to power.

The small airfield, located three kilometres from Battambang’s city centre was reopened and used for civilian aircraft for a period of time until the end of the 1990s, but it never returned to full operational status.

Tourism Observer

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